Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Roster Update #4

It's that time again . . . time for a new Roster Update. As before, players listed in black are players who I am projecting will earn a roster spot (or at least who would be on the roster if the season began tomorrow). Players listed in blue have a chance to move onto the 25-man roster by the end of the spring, and will be listed beneath the player(s) that they are likely to displace. Players listed in red are pretty much just in camp to give the Twins bodies during the early weeks when nobody is pitching more than a couple of innings or playing a full game in the field. Additionally, to track movement week-to-week on the roster updates, players will have either a "+" (for moving up), a "-" (for moving down), or an "=" (for not moving) listed behind their names.

My standard disclaimer applies: these are not necessarily the 25 guys who I would take north to start the season, but are instead the 25 guys who I think are most likely to make the team.

Finally, please note that a few comments on player movement follow the list of players, so if you want to know why I've moved a player up or down on the chart, that's the place to look.


Starting Pitcher - 1 - Johan Santana (=)
Starting Pitcher - 2 - Boof Bonser (=)
Starting Pitcher - 3 - Ramon Ortiz (+)
Starting Pitcher - 4 - Carlos Silva (-)
Starting Pitcher - 5 - Sidney Ponson (=)
Matt Garza (=)
Glen Perkins (=)
Scott Baker (+)
J.D. Durbin (-)
Jeremy Cummings (+)
Kevin Slowey (-)
Brad Voyles (=)
Errol Simonitsch (=)
Alexander Smit (=)
Oswaldo Sosa (=)
Closer - 6 - Joe Nathan (=)
Setup - 7 - Juan Rincon (=)
Bullpen - 8 - Pat Neshek (=)
Bullpen - 9 - Dennys Reyes (=)
Bullpen - 10 - Jesse Crain (=)
Bullpen - 11 - Matt Guerrier (=)
Ricky Barrett (=)
Julio DePaula (=)
Tristan Crawford (=)
Jose Mijares (=)

Catcher - 12 - Joe Mauer (=)
First Base - 13 - Justin Morneau (=)
Second Base - 14 - Luis Castillo (=)
Third Base - 15 - Nick Punto (=)
Shortstop - 16 - Jason Bartlett (=)
Left Field - 17 - Rondell White (=)
Center Field - 18 - Torii Hunter (=)
Right Field - 19 - Michael Cuddyer (=)
Designated Hitter - 20 - Jason Kubel (=)
Backup Catcher - 21 - Mike Redmond (=)
Chris Heintz (=)
Jose Morales (=)
Jeff Christy (=)
Korey Feiner (=)
Brad King (=)
Corner Infielder - 22 - Jeff Cirillo (=)
Glenn Williams (=)
Middle Infielder - 23 - Luis Rodriguez (=)
Alejandro Machado (=)
Tommy Watkins (+)
Alexi Casilla (-)
Gil Velazquez (=)
Backup Outfield - 24 - Jason Tyner (=)
Denard Span (+)
Josh Rabe (-)
Garrett Jones (=)

Misc. Reserve - 25 - Mike Venafro (=)
J.D. Durbin (+)
Matt LeCroy (+)
Randy Choate (-)
Ken Harvey (-)
Carmen Cali (=)
Jason Miller (=)

Lew Ford (Injury)

Alright, let's start with the starters. Santana and Bonser stay at the top of my list, while Ramon Ortiz's third straight solid start, coupled with Carlos Silva's recent struggles, have caused me to flip-flop Ortiz and Silva in the rotation. Despite his poor start on Friday, I'm still listing Sidney Ponson as the fifth starter, but if Matt Garza pitches well on Sunday and Ponson struggles in his next outing, I'll flip them. I've also turned Jeremy Cummings blue - he's pitched very well, and while he's the longest of long shots, if he keeps pitching like this the Twins will at least have to consider him.

In the bullpen, no changes amongst the top 6 (of course). Barring injury, that's not going to change all spring.

Similarly, no changes amongst the starting position players. Jason Kubel is quickly wrapping up the competition for the starting DH spot, as was expected.

With Lew Ford's injury, Jason Tyner is now secure as the backup outfielder on the team. The backup middle infielder spot is more interesting, with Alejandro Machado still injured and looking less and less likely to make the team. Luis Rodriguez has a good shot (especially if the Twins get over their phobia of having Nick Punto play short once every couple of weeks). However, I've turned both Tommy Watkins and Alexi Casilla blue, representing the fact that both have entered the conversation as possibilities for the roster spot. For the record, it would be sheer lunacy to take Alexi Casilla north - he needs to play every day at the AAA level.

That leaves the #25 spot on the roster, and things are heating up. This was the spot that Lew Ford was most likely to get, in my mind. His absence now makes Mike Venafro and J.D. Durbin the two most likely candidates for that position. Matt LeCroy almost by default is third on that list, while Ken Harvey (due to injury) and Randy Choate (due to one bad performance) fade away.

Now, the first cuts of the spring should be right around the corner, and I said I'd make a few guesses. Here goes nothing - in the next three days, I anticipate the following cuts:

Oswaldo Sosa
Julio DePaula
Alexander Smit
Korey Feiner

We'll see how right I am . . .

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  • At Sat Mar 10, 07:57:00 PM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    In the last post you had, I mentioned that Casilla isn't a option because of Ron's comments.

    Scratch that...

    "Our preference is to let him play more," Gardenhire said of Casilla. "But you know what? He's out there playing now. He's hitting the ball all over the place [Casilla is hitting .278 through nine games] and he has a lot of tools, so he's definitely an option."

  • At Sat Mar 10, 08:00:00 PM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    I also think that the Twins will cut ties with Ken Harvey in the next week.

    I could be wrong, but I just don't think he has a chance at making the team.

  • At Sat Mar 10, 08:03:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    First, on Casilla . . . it's well and good for Gardenhire to talk about him playing a lot in spring training and playing well. I think it would be a HUGE mistake to take him north. When would he play?

    Second, on Harvey. If he doesn't get healthy, I agree that there's a very good chance that he'll be gone. However, I suspect the Twins want him at AAA as insurance in case of an injury at 1B or DH. We'll see.

  • At Sun Mar 11, 09:57:00 AM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    I agree about putting him at AAA, but I wonder if he thinks he has a chance at a major league club somewhere else.


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